What are the best racing games of all time?
As a sports car lover, playing racing games would tinker with your imaginations.
These games offer the best of realistic driving experiences in a game world of fantasy, as a modern-day auto enthusiast or an old-school muscle fan.
In this article, we’ll consider the best of these racing video games, ranked based on their gameplay, visuals, game modes, maps, and multiplayer participation.
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The Best Racing Games of All Time
15. Burnout Paradise
Burnout Paradise blends fast-paced racing with gleeful violence, rewarding players with speed boosts for eliminating other contestants through dangerous driving.
The game offers players dramatic car crashing scenes as they shove their competitors off the track.
Criterion Games and Stellar Entertainment have done an excellent job adding competitive elements missing in many other game franchises.
The game is set in ‘Paradise City,’ where players compete in several street races to earn game progress.
Racing in Paradise City requires a lot of mental calculation since players can get lost on tracks.
One exciting feature is the ability to keep drivers’ records on their driving licenses.
The open-world experience and player freedom contribute to this game’s fun as it remains one of the best racing games of all time despite its release over a decade ago.
Burnout Paradise has earned critical acclaim, receiving industrial awards and achieving commercial success.
14. Mario Kart
Double Dash: The nostalgia from other Mario Kart games could be a determining factor in this game, but the Double Dash is one of Mario Kart’s best.
With two playable characters per cart, the fun is doubled. Unlike its preceding entrants, the 3D polygon graphics are implemented in Double Dash.
Double Dash offers a series of race tracks, stunning colors, vibrant art style, and exciting soundtracks.
The maps are reliable, and each character possesses specific items.
One distinctive feature is that Mario can throw a fireball when he obtains his special item.
13. Burnout Revenge
Burnout Revenge is a supreme embodiment of a great racing game, having the Burnout series’s signatory recklessness.
Players engage in auto-combat, eliminating other racers from the track, which is essential for game progress and vehicle unlocks.
The game offers realistic car alarms as players crash into each other at high speeds.
With uncomplicated objectives and well-optimized graphics, Burnout revenge is an absolute master class.
Burnout Revenge is a prequel to the Burnout Dominator and was released in September 2005.
12. Midnight Club 3
Dub Edition: Sequel of the Midnight Club 2, this game is a significant upgrade centered more on high-speed racing than realism.
The series would feature licensed cars, the race editors are improved, and checkpoints can be placed anywhere.
The game offers new cars, race events, different music, and a new city map. Players can enhance vehicles’ performances and add additional features.
The gameplay is demanding, requiring a lot of calculation as unexpected leaps, turns, and spikes can occur.
Another crowning peculiarity is the ability of players scanning the tracks before racing through tricky traffic in slow-motion.
11. Gran Turismo Sport
The Gran Turismo Sport is the 13th game in the Gran Turismo series that exceeded people’s expectations.
The variety of assorted cars (324), tracks (84), and remarkable realistic sounds are unique features that other games can barely match.
Players can also customize their vehicles with unique features that suit their style.
The game has striking graphics, distinct missions, and an extensive multiplayer mode.
10. Need for Speed: Underground 2
Undoubtedly, one of the games to feature on this list, Need for Speed: Underground 2 is an outstanding racing video game that offers players super-cool graphics, easily navigated map, nice customizations, beautiful nighttime visuals, and inspiring soundtracks.
Players can partake in several street racers and multiplayer modes.
Over 8.4 million copies of Need for Speed: Underground 2 were sold globally by the end of 2004, breaking UK sales records.
9. The Crew 2
The dust from 2014’s The Crew had rarely settled before the glory of The Crew 2 emerged.
The 2 is an open world racing video game available to play online and locally as players engage in various street races to progress through the game.
The game offers an extensive map, a choice of cars, motorcycles, boats, and airplanes, and a transmission feel to add more to the realistic experience.
8. Midnight Club: Los Angeles
Midnight Club: Los Angeles is an open-world game developed and published by Rockstar Games as the fourth entrant in the Midnight Club series.
The game is modeled in Los Angeles, where players can use 43 cars and four motorcycles.
The game features a 24-hour day-to-night cycle, a diverse soundtrack, several multiplayer options, weather effects, and traffic with licensed vehicles to improve its realism over the preceding series.
7. Need for Speed: Heat
Need for Speed: Heat lived up to the high standards its predecessors have set with fantastic graphics, physics, competitive gameplay, and realism.
Set in an open-world environment called Palm City, it is a fictionalized version of Miami, Florida, and its suburbs. Like other NFS entrants, Heat retains the tradition of illegal races.
The corps in this installment are brutal, and the map is fun to explore. However, modifications are expensive, and the costs of vehicle parts are exhilarant.
Nevertheless, Need for Speed: Heat is a great game overall.
6. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
This is a Need for Speed installment that has established an unswerving ability to remain in contention among the best racing games of all time.
As its name implies, the game features high-speed cop chases in very expensive, striking, customizable supercars.
The game was designed to obsess players with their game races and cars as they take on the city’s ‘cream of the crop’ street racers in a series of illegal street races.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted achieved commercial success as over 16 million copies were sold globally, making it the best-selling title in the NFS series.
4. Forza Horizon 4
The Forza Horizon 4 is a massive upgrade on its prequel, Forza Horizon 3.
The game features shifting seasons with over 670 licensed cars (100, which have been added after the initial launch).
Players can also create their routes using the game’s “route creator,” a feature that freely explores the game’s open-world environment.
Forza Horizon 4 has won the “Best Use of Game Engine” Award at the Develop: Star Awards in 2017.
2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is revered as the godfather of all Mario Kart games, beating the Mario Kart 64 and other notable mentions to it.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is acclaimed for its amazingly-designed tracks, racers, and unlockables.
The handling is responsive, has a high frame rate, good mechanics, and rewards for track knowledge and skill.
A reoccurring feature since the Mario Kart 64 is the four-player split-screen, which has earned favorable reviews, and its auto acceleration and smart steering features have also been acclaimed.
The game offers players eight new arenas, six extra playable characters, more Kart parts for customization.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has achieved commercial success, selling over 23 million copies globally.
1. Burnout 3
Takedown: Even Burnout 3: Takedown’s developer has not developed another game better than their 16-year old release.
The Burnout 3: Takedown is a blockbusting racing video game released in 2004.
The visuals, game modes, and soundtrack are top-notch, as the game takes players through the course of dangerous fast-paced driving.
Takedown offers race variants in 173 events spanning ten locations across the United States, Europe, and Asia, proving its diversity and open-world realism.
A feature it initiated is the traffic-checking, which offers players the ability to break through cars moving in the same direction as the player.
Burnout 3: Takedown took down most of the games released in its generation and remains matchless in the racing genre and the video game industry.
Hope you enjoyed our collection of the best racing games of all time you can play in 2021.
Think we missed out any top game?
Please share with us in the comments section below.